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Top 10 hottest Chinese athletes of 2012 (8)  09:01, November 27, 2012

Sun Yang (Photo/Xinhua)

Top 3: Sun Yang (孙杨)

Sport: Swimming

Age: 21

Microblogging fans on (till Nov. 25): 11,948,292

After his sensational success during the 2012 London Olympics, Sun Yang is rapidly becoming one of the most renowned Chinese athletes in the world. In early 2011, he was sent to train with Olympic medalist Grant Hackett's mentor, Dennis Cotterell, in Australia for two months. Then, on July 31 of that same year, Sun broke the world record in the 1500m freestyle, which had been set by Grant Hackett ten years earlier. On July 28 and August 4 of this year, he became the Olympic champion in the men's 400m and 1500m freestyle events, making him the first male swimmer to win Olympic gold for China, as well as one of the two male swimmers to win two individual titles at one time- the other being Michael Phelps.

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